Community Spirit – Episode 09

BACK home, a deep bass beat was coming from Tasha’s room as she tidied it up. Jeannie had asked her to do it before she got home and knew Tasha would have waited until the last moment to start.

Jeannie wandered through to the kitchen and saw the form for Tasha’s school trip on the counter. She picked it up once more, but it still said the same thing – a geography field trip to Germany, six nights for £600.

She stared out of the window, wondering who had £600 to spend on a field trip.

Tasha appeared in the doorway, bag over her shoulder, and Jeannie realised the music had stopped.

“I’m off to babysit the twins,” Tasha said, eyes dropping to the form in Jeannie’s hand. “Have you reconsidered? Can I go?”

“Tasha, I’m sorry. It’s not possible at the moment,” Jeannie said. “I just don’t have the money.”

“But the van has gone now. You said things would be easier once you sold it.” Tasha leaned against the doorframe and gave Jeannie a look of longing.

“Most of the money paid off the debt,” Jeannie explained, trying not to show how upset she was, “and the little left over is for us to live on until I can find something else to do.”

“But you’ve got a job now,” Tasha said, noticing Jeannie’s apron.

“A part-time job paying minimum wage is definitely not enough to keep us,” Jeannie told her. “I’m very sorry but the answer has to be no.”

“I’ve saved some money from babysitting,” Tasha persisted.

“That’s really good,” Jeannie replied.

“Is it?” Tasha yelled. “Maybe I’ll be able to pay for the trip in another three years!”

She bounded up the hallway and out of the door before Jeannie could say a word. Usually they got on well, even more so since Trevor had left, but lately there had been one or two outbursts. At least there’s the summer holiday with her father, Jeannie thought.

Nate finished the windows at the front of the pub and resolved to do the rest first thing in the morning.

He usually spent the first couple of days getting the lie of the land in a new pub before deciding what needed to be done. Already he had come up with a few ideas on how to improve things here.

At half-past six there was the sound of voices outside. The door burst open and banged against the wall.


Alison Cook